How can I get rid of the smell of smoke on a century-old oak buffet? I recently bought the piece of furniture at an auction and didn’t notice that it reeks of tobacco. I’ve tried many applications of Orange Glo and Lemon Pledge but to no avail. Any suggestions short of burning it!
The first and easiest option involves putting the buffet outside in the sun on breezy days. Open all doors and drawers and let the sunshine and wind get inside. You’ll experience some improvement on the first day, but several days (perhaps even a week) might be necessary to do the trick. I’ve used this approach quite successfully. The UV rays break down the smoke residue. Just remember to bring the furniture into a garage or garden shed before nightfall or if rain threatens.
If the sunshine treatment doesn’t work well enough for you, then it’s time to get serious with an ozone treatment. Ozone is an unstable form of oxygen and there are electric devices made especially for generating high concentrations of ozone for use eliminating odours of all kinds. Disaster clean-up crews often use ozone generators to get rid of smoke smells during restoration work after a fire. Ozone generators are very effective and often used by leading realtors to get rid of stale odours in houses they’re showing.
The real trick is to find someone equipped to complete an ozone treatment on your buffet. In some cities there are professionals who offer a mobile service, but you might need to get creative. Try calling a car dealership for help. The best ones use ozone generators to freshen up the smell of used cars.
Ozone treatments are effective and safe as long as they’re performed properly. You’ll need to complete the operation in a small, enclosed space, and then let the ozone revert back to ordinary oxygen before entering the space. That generally takes a few hours after the machine is switched off.